Kitchen/diner to be 30% of the house

(6 Posts)
swancourt Thu 24-Mar-16 10:14:23

Hi, my husband and I and our two small children live in a small 1970s 3-bed mid-terrace house. It has a standard layout: you walk in through the front door and the stairs go up immediately in front of you. Turn right into the living room which narrows to make an L-shape - the dining area is at the back of the L-shape with a door to the garden. To the right of the dining area is the kitchen which is 10'8 x 6'10. The garden is just under 40 feet long, so not huge but good enough for our purposes.

Upstairs is a small family bathroom, two double bedrooms and a box room. The total internal floor area is 883 square feet (I am not sure if this includes the shed or not - am going on the property details from when we bought it).

I would like to put a wall between the dining area and living room, and knock down the wall between the dining area and the kitchen. If we did just this, we'd have a living room of 14'2 x 13'8 and a kitchen/diner of 10'8 x 16'4. But I'd also like to put a single-storey extension on the back of another six feet, as wide as the house. So this would make the kitchen/diner 16'8 x 16'4. It might be possible to squeeze in a utility/loo under the stairs if it was this size - there's currently no way of adding a downstairs loo as our front garden, which is a good size, goes diagonally from the house. So we can't add a porch with a loo in as others have done on our street who have straight gardens.

DH isn't keen on my extension plan as he doesn't want to make our garden too small. It would be small, but I don't think it would affect the way we use it - we'd still have room for a nice patio and chairs and table, the wendy house and mud kitchen, and the shed, as well as a patch of lawn.

What I am worried about is that our kitchen would be 270 square feet in a house that would be just under 1000 square feet. So it would be nearly a third of the total floor space. Do you think this would feel disproportionate? I'd really love bifold doors and to be able to have parties and Christmasses and get everybody round the table and have a big family space in our otherwise modest little house.

But I'm also worried that it wouldn't add all that much value. I'm wondering if just doing the smaller job (making a 10'8 x 16'4 kitchen diner) would be a lot cheaper and add a similar amount of value to the house if we put in a good quality kitchen etc.

I know it's hard without seeing the house/knowing the area, but any thoughts?

icklekid Thu 24-Mar-16 10:23:10

If it helps we're doing a similar layout with current kitchen diner currently being extended to include living space with bifold doors etc then we have separate living room. Ours is standard 3 bed 1930s semi and not entirely sure of room dimensions but very popular layout for extensions in our area.

GibbousHologram Thu 24-Mar-16 10:45:37

An extension rarely adds as much value to a house as it cost.

So the only reason really to do one is because you want to live in it.

It would be much cheaper/quicker/easier to do the easy option but you need to be looking at things like how long you're planning on staying there and how much value you would put on big kitchen/diner.

senua Thu 24-Mar-16 10:48:08

Any load-bearing walls involved?

I think the golden rule of extensions is to go big. So often people say "I like my new extension but I wish we had ..." Have you considered a double-storey extension? Would that turn the house into three proper bedrooms instead of two+box. That would add value.

I think that the "shall we do it" depends on your lifestyle and that of future purchasers. I'm not sure that I would like an audience while I cook or have my washing-up on display while we eat. But each to their own.

FWIW, the house next door to us is similar to your proposal. After the old lady died, developers bought it and extended it. It ended up with five beds and three bathrooms above. Downstairs has a study and a utility. Everything else (sitting/dining/kitchen/conservatory) is open plan! It sold.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 24-Mar-16 11:17:37

I disagree with Gibbous, I think extensions can add sufficient value to cover the cost or more. For us (about to start an extension) the added value of an extra bedroom and additional living space is about 150% of the cost).

I agree too that it doesn't matter that the kitchen diner is such a large percentage of the overall square footage - in fact its probably an advantage in a family house because that tends to be the heart of the home and where most families spend a considerable amount of their time.

swancourt Thu 24-Mar-16 13:08:55

Thanks so much for the advice and opinions! That's really helpful and thought-provoking.

I would LOVE an audience while I'm cooking. I get fed up of being squirreled away in a titchy room all by myself while everybody else has a good time elsewhere in the house. I have always wanted a kitchen/diner and I think our layout is very old-fashioned now and many houses in the area have already knocked the existing layout into shape. The question is whether we extend beyond that.

I don't think we can do a two-storey extension. If we did, it would extend the current second bedroom backwards, turning it into a really great size double (18 x 10) with an ensuite to the side. It wouldn't affect the box room, which is on the other side of the house. BUT we're mid-terrace and as far as I can make out we'd be breaking the 45 degree rule and blocking light to neighbours' properties. I think that rule no longer applies to single-storey extensions which is why I'm considering it ...

I might be wrong about that, in which case the whole question is moot anyway!

I'm not sure how long we'll stay here. We plan to stay here until eldest daughter is 9 or 10 and we're getting towards secondary school application stage (she is currently 4 - she'll be 5 in July and is in reception). We may stay longer because we currently both work full time and I'd like to go part time (we're also planning a third child - I just had a mc and we're about to try again). Our mortgage is pretty big and I don't really want to up it much further just to move - round here a 3-bed semi with a nice garden is easily £500k+ (our house is worth about £325k), so to get anything with much more space in it we'd have to push our finances so much I don't think it would be worth it. Our house is little, but it's ours, and it's in a nice quiet street in a nice village with good schools and a train to London (for my work) less than 2 miles away. So partly I'd just love the big kitchen diner so we could have a real family space beyond the living room. But we might be able to achieve that without extending ....

Hmmm .....

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